The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Finalist: Best Big City Sleep
- Stunning views of Central Park
- World class cabaret (and occasionally Woody Allen on clarinet) at Café Carlyle
- Top-notch in-house boutiques ranging from H.M. Luther Antiques to Vera Wang
What To Know
- Although the hotel and its bar are becoming trendy again, it’s still a long way from Manhattan’s hip downtown neighborhoods
- It’s a favorite of celebrities and politicians, which can sometimes cause inconvenient security measures
- WiFi is an additional cost per day
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Classic and timeless without feeling dated. The lobby is all gleaming black marble and impeccably maintained cupcake moldings, with Deco touches in the low-slung salmon-colored chairs and oversize mirrors. The restaurants and bars retain much of their original 1930s glamour, while the guest rooms have been modernized through a series of subtle makeovers. The rooms feel more residential than hotel-like, giving guests a sense of staying at an Upper East Side pied-à-terre. Even the simplest rooms have original hardwood floors, custom fabrics in playful prints, original Audubon pictures and Piranese and Kips artworks on the walls. Some of the higher-floor rooms have a sophisticated new look from Alexandra Champalimaud, plus stunning park views. The generous supply of Kiehl’s toiletries (not just the usual shampoo and body lotion, but also facial moisturizer and lip balm) is a welcome touch in the bathrooms. The hotel’s watering holes have drawn a glamorous crowd for decades, and they practically ooze history. Bemelman’s Bar is decorated with murals of Central Park painted by the Madeline artist Ludwig Bemelman, alongside chocolate-brown leather banquettes, nickel-trimmed black glass tabletops and a gilded ceiling. The Carlyle Restaurant remains one of the few white tablecloth establishments in a city increasingly obsessed with casual dining, while Café Carlyle is a supper club with nightly cabaret performances. The jewel box of a spa features Sisley facials, and Yves Durif does the coiffing.
In the Area
The Carlyle’s Upper East Side location is near the prime luxury shopping of Madison Avenue and Museum Mile. The Whitney Museum of American Art is on the next block, while the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim are a short walk away. Among the neighborhood’s best restaurants are Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud and the Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. And, of course, Central Park is just a stone’s throw away.
How to Get There
We booked a three night stay at The Carlyle to celebrate a special occasion and the whole experience was superb.
The hotel embodies wonderful Upper East Side New York glamour, just as we’d envisaged. A discreet entrance just off Madison Avenue leads to the small, elegant lobby decorated in Art Deco monochrome with splashes of golden velvet.
While the hotel is exclusive we found the service friendly and attentive throughout. And everyone seems to be greeted with “nice to see you” whether it’s your first or hundredth visit.
The Carlyle is being subtly refurbished in parts but cleverly all the classic features that make it special are still there including the famous Bemelmans Bar and the elevator attendants.
Our room was one of the recently refurbished ones and successfully blended classic with contemporary. There were some lovely touches such as Central Park murals and quirky rabbit objects reminiscent of the Bemelmans bar downstairs. The room wasn’t huge and the bathroom a bit tight but that’s usual for New York and the beautiful décor made up for it.
We enjoyed fabulous breakfasts every morning in the chic Carlyle Restaurant. And dinner there was the icing on the cake of our stay. We were given the type of table we’d requested beforehand (a corner banquette) and the classic menu and slick service matched the stylish setting perfectly.
For exploring the Upper East Side the hotel’s location was also superb. We had the Met museums and Central Park right on our doorstep and of course the shops of Madison Ave.
There are newer, trendier hotels in more fashionable parts of New York but for sheer class this is hard to beat.
We stayed at the Carlyle over the 4th of July week to celebrate my Birthday and The 4th of July.. Had a recently renovated suite that was huge. Our adult children joined us with spouses (THEY had their own rooms) and they were able to come and have pre-dinner gatherings with no trouble fitting them all in. Great location and felt very safe in the area when walking. Will definitely choose this hotel again.
I brought eight friends to rent four rooms at The Carlyle to celebrate a very special birthday. The Hotel anticipated every need and went out of their way to make this three day experience truly magical. Stephanie the Concierge and Charles the Captain truly went above and beyond. I cannot thank the hotel enough for everything they did for me and my friends! A life long fan!! A. Toce